The historian Josephus stated that the Apostle Paul was four feet six inches tall. Chrysostom wrote that Paul’s body was crooked, his head bald and that he had a hook nose. The Corinthians said about Paul:
“For Paul’s letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” (2 Corinthians 10:10)
Okay, Paul was not a hunk!
Saul (Paul) was born in Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia (in modern southern Turkey). He was circumcised on the eighth day, a son of a Pharisee and from the tribe of Benjamin. He was brought up in Jerusalem under the teaching of a noted Pharisee named Gamaliel. Paul later described himself as a Hebrew of Hebrews.
As far as zeal for the Law, Saul of Tarsus hunted down believers of the Way. He tortured them, threw them into prisons, forced them to blaspheme and consented to their deaths. He had letters of authority from the chief priests allowing him to carry out his vendetta against believers of Jesus, even in foreign cities.
Without a doubt, Saul of Tarsus was the most feared man by followers of Jesus.
Then, in one of the most remarkable experiences in the Bible, Saul encountered a light from heaven and fell to ground. He heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
Paul replied, “Who are You, Lord?”
The voice replied, “I am Jesus.”
In this short exchange, Paul was turned around 180º, converted and became willing to suffer and die for the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He wrote almost two thirds of the New Testament before he was beheaded outside the gates of Rome.
In the days ahead, the Lord is going to shine His light on numerous individuals who hate Christianity and its believers. These enlightened individuals will come out of leadership positions in abortion, LGBT, porn, Hollywood, transgender, media, politics and other professions.
And just like Saul of Tarsus, these enlightened individuals will rise up and become zealots for the faith, willing to die for their Lord.
(Continued in Part 3)